Why not? My opponent has spent two rounds comparing his opponents to fire.
You know that it would be untrue... you know that I would be a liar...
Sorry, just trying to fit in.
Anyways, based on the ambient light it's about dusk; the sun has set but the sky is still pretty bright. There's some movement on the other side of the fire but it's dulled out by the brightness of the flames.
"If you ask my two previous opponents, they'd probably say I don't belong here. Well, DC Stark would say that - I'm stupid, remember - and I'm half and half on Ravager. On one hand, he spent seven to twelve years telling me how much he respected me, but on the other, I've apparently upset fate and the forces of the universe by removing him from potentially winning this year's tournament like he was destined to do."
Fortunately, fate only affects you if you believe in it, and I don't.
"Regardless, Rocko, we've both made it to the Midwestern finals, and I'd like to pre-emptively say you're welcome. After the past two rounds, I'm sure you're tired of dealing with pseudo - thinking psychopaths who speak under the delusion that being dark and creepy is an acceptable alternative for having actual wrestling ability."
Trust me, it only works at Goth Night at the club.
"I'm not here to destroy professional wrestling, Rocko, and I'm not here to punish any companies, wrestlers, or fans for imagined transgressions. Quite the contrary, this business has been my passion since before I knew a thing about it. My career might span all of eighteen months, but my training and obsession with learning and knowing everything there is to know about the ins and outs of it started when I was fourteen."
That's nine years, if you're keeping track. I'm a helper!
"Now that that's settled, let's get the obvious out of the way. You're a multiple - time World Champion, and I have exactly one title reign under my belt - as the current NFW Television Champion. I can't compete with you when it comes to big gold belts and high profile matches, so I'm not going to bother trying."
"Fortunately, big gold belts and high profile matches mean precisely nothing in the grand scheme of things. Even Mike Randalls lost to a wrestler nicknamed 'The Muppet Kid' once or twice."
"What matters, Rocko, is that we've both made it through two rounds of this year's tournament, and by virtue, only one of us can make it to the final four."
"Will it be you?"
"Will it be me?"
Want an honest answer? I don't know.
"But if you think or act like you're about to get another cakewalk like your last two opponents, you might as well just pack up your Daymons and go home, because you'll have already lost."
"Although, you kind of already have."
"Wrestling is my religion, Rocko... so I can appreciate the amount of focus and dedication you've given it, but I really need to ask... was it worth losing your family? Was it worth losing yourself?"
Don't answer that, I know we'd need several hours to get through it all.
Just think about it.
"The message is what matters, Rocko... but when the messenger is lost, how well can it really translate?"
(Late at night, a St. Louis wrestling gym sits in black silence, past the hours of operation. This silence is subsequently broken by the arrival of "THE UNDYING" ROCKO DAYMON, road-bag slung over one shoulder, entering the building with silent determination. The lights pop on, and the keys dangling in his fingers, given to him by the owner for this overnight session for an easy bargain of one hundred dollars, go into his pocket.)
Rocko Daymon (V/O)
I'm sure few doubted they'd see me standing once again in the Elite Eight... but as far as I'm concerned, everything up to this point have been nothing more than a waste of my time.
For me, this is where the tournament truly begins.
(In moments, he stands facing the rudimentary training ring, accompanied only by the light and hum of the yellowed flourescent lights. After surveying the scene, he puts the roadbag on the ground, removing a CD player and setting it on the bench. He empties his pockets and removes his shirt and accessories, standing now only in maroon gym shorts and sneakers.)
Rocko Daymon (V/O)
The last time I was in the regional finals of the TEAM Invitational Tournament, it was April of '07. I was in Boston, walking into an all-out war with a cat by the name of Ulysis Solian.
In the end, I made a small but fatal mistake, and it cost me the opportunity to make an appearance in the Final Four.
(He hits the play button on the CD player, before turning around and beginning his initial stretches. The speakers begin blaring out "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath.)
Rocko Daymon (V/O)
I came up short... but that didn't do anything to dull the impact I made on TEAM. Two men walked into the ring that night in Boston and gave their all, in a fight that was so close, it was immortalized in the EPICENTER highlight reel.
"Finished with my woman 'cause she couldn't help me with my mind
"People think I'm insane because I am frowning all the time"
(Cut away. He's now face-down on the mat, pumping in time to the music with a series of one-handed push-ups. Beads of sweat are beginning to appear on the skin of his broad, scarred back. Seconds later, he's hanging upside down on a bar, straining his flattened abs with a series of verticle sit-ups.)
Rocko Daymon (V/O)
Two years later, I'm wondering what could have happened... if I were perhaps a bit more focused and matured, like I am now... if I could have avoided that mere mistake that cost me...
If I could have gone just a bit further...
"All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy
"Think I'll lose my mind if I don't find something to pacify"
(Cut again, as he dangles from the bar, in the middle of pull-ups. There's a ferocity in his exercising that indicates pure, determined focus. His body is now glazed in sweat. Cut again, and he's doing squats in the ring with a medicine ball held over his shoulders, imitating Atlas.)
Rocko Daymon (V/O)
Here I am in the same place I was in 2009... starved for a decent challenge, wondering if I could out-do the standard I've set for myself... and give TEAM another match it won't soon forget.
"Can you help me,
"Occupy my brain?
(The song fades out. Cut again, and he's concluded his work-out. Or at least taking a break. He now sits on the bench before the camera, looking fresh and focused, putting the cap back on the bottle of water he's sipping from and setting it aside to give his undivided attention to those who care to listen.)
Trust me, Impulse... you won't be taken lightly.
There's been too much sacrificed on my part for me to take anything lightly at this point.
I'd implore you to understand what that means, but you strike me as the type with a short-attention span and a pre-conceived notion of who I am... so that's probably not possible at this point.
No big deal. Apparently, a little under a decade of studying the ins and outs of this industry doesn't give you everything a little over a decade of hands-on experience will...
You're asking me, "Was it worth it?"
(A smile forms on his face. We've often seen him wearing an expression caught between smirk and sneer, but this is an all-out bona fide smile.)
You say it as if I had a choice.
(Now he chuckles - a dry, emotionless sound belching from his throat - but it lasts only a second.)
You're pretty knowledgable of this industry, Impulse... so you should know of the curse that comes hand in hand with success. It's called COMPLACENCY. It's the feeling of having accomplished all that you can possibly accomplish, and nothing out there could possibly affect that. That leads to lethargy and dulled senses.
As you pointed out, I'm a multi-time World Heavyweight Champ... but walking into this tournament with all that riding on my ego would have only made me over-confident and lazy.
(He shakes his head.)
And that's not how I roll, Impulse...
I gave up everything I've gained from this industry, because I wasn't satisfied leaving it in this state. I felt there was still something left for me to prove to this world.
I gave up fame, fortune, and family because I wanted to remember what it feels like to have nothing to lose... I wanted to rekindle the fire inside from when I was younger and hungrier.
I think most will agree that it wasn't a very rational decision on my end... but then, I've never considered myself as a rational man. Some think that gives them a mental edge, but they always fail to realize that it makes me unpredictable and incomprehensible.
Ulysis Solian had the fortune of fighting me in that ring two years prior to knowing the undying beast I've become. Now it's your problem to deal with, Impulse.
(He leans forward, eyes fixed on the camera, forearms held over his knees.)
But now I'm curious, Impulse... just which of us is taking the other lightly?
You already seem to think I've lost this match.
If that's really the case, then I think knocking off one of the most overrated competitors from this tournament has gotten to your head.
You're young and hungry, Impulse... like I was years ago, only you have the knowledge and mentoring that I never had to help you go further than I could have ever imagined at your age. You don't want to make the mistake of throwing that away by taking me lightly.
Don't become complacent.
Don't try to rationalize what is not rational.
Don't assume you can kill what cannot die.
Just step into the ring, do your job, and hope those wrestling gods you and I both worship get you through it in one piece. There might even be a spot on next year's highlight reel if you do well enough.
("THE UNDYING" ROCKO DAYMON rises from the bench and turns back to the ring. "Paranoid" comes over the footage again as he grabs the rope and rises to the apron to climb inside. Fade to black.)
"And so as you hear these words telling you now of my state
"I tell you to enjoy life - I wish I could, but it's too late"
(FADEIN: Paranoid, Rocko? Really? If you're going to go with Black Sabbath, there's so much more you could've been doing. The Wizard. Snowblind. After Forever. Children of the Grave.
If you wanted to be a smart aleck, Faeries Wear Boots.
Though I do have to credit you for sticking with the good stuff. The First Four Black Sabbath Albums are the four greatest albums in the history of heavy metal.
As it stands, I'm currently watching you. My camera is set up facing my television, and a video of your promo is currently paused.
"We get it, Rocko. You're a real man's man, so busy that you don't even stop working out to address your opponents. And you don't even stop your Ozzy worship while doing so."
Not that I'm complaining. Nobody should stop their Ozzy worship.
"But I have to question the part where you tell me I have a short attention span and a preconceived notion of who you are. Isn't that what you just did?"
Round one - I'm stupid. Round two - I'm unfortunate. Round three - I have a short attention--look, flashing lights!
Well, if you can't have fun at work...
"I regard all of my opponents the same, Rocko - as my next opponent. It's up to each of you to differentiate yourselves to me once we get into it. To me, that's the purest way to wrestle, as it eliminates preconceived notions and allows everyone to shine."
If I'd listened to everything that they said to me, I wouldn't be here. Speaking of Shine...
"So why did you do it?"
"What about me made you decide I had no attention span, and had already made my decision about who you are and what you're about? Was it my age? Was it the way I don't take myself seriously?"
"Was it because I told you that you were lost?"
"Newsflash, Rocko... take a look in the mirror."
"This has nothing to do with complacency or laziness, or overconfidence. If you can do what you say you can do, then you're not overconfident, you're confident."
"If you can't function at your highest level without ridding your life of everything but your work, what value is there to your life?"
Rocko's got his work, they say Rock lives for his work and Rock's in love with his work... Rock hides in his work.
*Ahem* Sorry... Rosie is a big fan of that show.
"I have a life here in the city, with friends and family and my girl and my favorite watering hole. I have a gold belt in the greatest wrestling promotion in the world, and I have fun with my career. When I lose matches - and we all lose matches, I think about it, I obsess about it for a bit, and then I move on."
"Although, and you might be able to throw this back at me as a poor example of someone who has no idea what success actually is, but all of the success I've gained in the past year and a half has not made me lighten my load; if anything I'm sharper now than I ever was."
After a year and a half. So what?
"But let's flip it around, Rocko... let's say you win. Let's say you steamroll over me, and continue on through to the finals."
"Who do you celebrate with? Who's waiting for you at home, or at work, or anywhere, to say 'Look what I did' with?"
"And if you don't miss that, then what do you do with all your accomplishments and titles and victories? Do you put them on a shelf and let them collect dust until you die?"
That is what I meant, Rocko. Not that you've lost the match. You very well could win.
But you, yourself... you are lost.
"And there's always a choice, Rocko... always. If you were getting complacent, the blame doesn't fall anywhere but yourself for allowing it. And if you were getting complacent, maybe your subconscious was trying to tell you something?"
"Something other than 'Dump your family and your fortune and start over.' But I'm the naive one."
"No, it wasn't rational, Rocko - but it also doesn't make you unpredictable. A man with nothing in his life has nothing to lose, and that makes him dangerous. Not unpredictable."
"Fortunately, I've spent the past year wrestling dangerous men. Some of them had nothing to lose."
No, that doesn't mean I'm ready for you - all it means is that I'm familiar with what your current status means. Don't let it go to your head.
Ironic musing not intended.
"I can rationalize anything, Rocko - because I'm rational. But I never said I wanted to kill you, or that I would ever even try. Quite the contrary, I hope you find what you're looking for, and I hope you're able to climb back to the top of the wrestling business and declare this weird experiment of yours a smashing success."
"I just hope you understand that it's going to have to wait a little bit, because I intend to use everything I've got to win this match."
The tape suddenly clicked off. Apparently it was paused for too long. Eh.
"Don't worry about me, though, Rocko... I fully intend to make it through this match in one piece."
"And I don't know if you've noticed or not... but I'm already on this year's highlight reel. I'm just not done adding to it."
And I'm sure you've got one more thing to show 'em, too.
"Ladies and gentlemen... PLEASE WELCOME... SLEEP!!"
(The opening power chords to "Lord Of This World" herald the melodic dirge over the soundtrack... only instead of being treated to the original, we get the cover by Sleep - a little-known band worthy of praise on the level of even Black Sabbath. It's early hours, and "THE UNDYING" ROCKO DAYMON has come to a drinking hole somewhere in the impoverished north end of St. Louis. He's the only white face in the room, but this fact doesn't seem to bother him.)
"You're searching for your mind, don't know where to start
"Can't find the key to fit the lock on your heart
"You think you know, but you are never quite sure
"Your soul is ill, but you will not find a cure"
(The droning tribute done by the Californian stoner rock trio blares on in the background as he polishes off another bottle of Heineken. This doesn't seem like the typical behavior of a man who deciates his life to his career - or "hides" in it, depending on who you ask. But just because his body isn't currently at work, one shouldn't so quickly assume the same about his mind. In there, we can safely assume there is no concept of rest.)
Once again, I have an opponent who would rather grill me over my personal life than try to conceive the unstoppable wrestling force that I am...
(He shakes his head, but cracks a bit of a sardonic smile. A lift of his finger cues the bartender to slide another beer his way.)
At the end of the day, am I going to be judged based on the fact that I don't have a dedicated crew of friends and a loving family?
(He waves his hand, drawing attention to his surroundings.)
Why, what better family could I have than the people I find right here?
Every week, I walk into a new bar or pub or night club. Every week, I'm in the company of a new anonymous group of locals. We don't care about each other's affairs, or our personal lives, or even our professional lives. We don't even bother to remember names. We simply gather here in collective company under a simple mindset...
"The world out there is a bitch."
And this is where we all can get away from it.
But none of that isn't important...
...neither is my life, for that matter.
(He lets out a low, dry chuckle and takes the first sip of his fresh Heineken. I'm sure the choice in beer will be criticized along with the choice in background music.)
Personally, Impulse, I think you're just trying to duck the question of which man is more dedicated to the task of victory. Rather than try and understand my conviction, you want to punch holes in my logic and try to pass yourself off as "holier than thou."
Whatever helps you sleep at night, I guess...
(Another slight crack of a smile forms on his face, but this one comes with the hint of a sneer.)
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, Impulse, since you obviously don't know the full story...
If you did, then you'd probably know that my marriage was dying a slow death long before my wife handed me the divorce papers. Then you'd understand that my "choice" was merely a realization:
There was no fulfillment in dedicating my life to a family. There was only that ugly sensation of complacency. As long as they were there in the back of my mind, they would always affect my performance in the ring.
Of course, there's no guarantee that there's any fulfillment to be gained in dedicating my life to professional wrestling, but at least there's a chance.
I would sooner shoot for the moon for a chance at immortality before willingly accepting the drawn-out existence of mediocrity. Some people wouldn't be so quick to agree with that viewpoint, but then, none of them are world champions.
And none of them understand the value of sacrifice and conviction...
(He spares a glance at the bottle... realizes there's something more important on his mind, and sets it aside for now.)
If it still isn't sinking in for you, Impulse, then let me present a rhetorical scenario for you...
Let's say that out of the blue, the powers that be here in TEAM decide to give you a once in a lifetime opportunity - a shot at the Champion of Champions. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that this was your one and only chance.
Problem is, you've been on the road for a few months... and you haven't seen your bitch or your buddies for a while. You're constantly worrying about how they're holding up. Then, on the day of the event, you get a message - someone close to you is in the hospital. They may not make it through the night, and they need you there in their final hours of life.
Now you're faced with a choice, Impulse... do you go ahead with the match and fulfill your dream of becoming a champion, or do you throw your dreams away to ensure the well-being of an important person in your life?
(He lingers a moment to let this question sink in. While he waits, he takes another drink from the green bottle sitting on the bar, and continues.)
Since you claim to be a rational man, I'd assume you'd go with the latter. I think virtually everyone would put their personal life before their professional life.
For years, I probably would have made the same choice myself... and to be honest, I still would, if I had important people left in my life. But while I was sitting at home nursing an injury that should have ended my career for good, the truth suddenly appeared to me.
As a family man, I had already failed. The idea of managing a decent family, after the years I spent away from them touring this planet, winning multiple World Heavyweight Titles, and selling out arenas everywhere I went, was lost.
As a professional wrestler, however... there was still opportunity for me.
I wanted more than anything to be there in the ring, because at home, looking at this industry from the outside, I realized I was put on this Earth to be a professional wrestler, and I'm going to be the best damn wrestler I can be. In order to do that, however... I had to ensure that nothing outside the ring would affect me on the inside.
Agreeing to my wife's request for a divorce was the only merciful thing I could do for the only people I ever cared about on this planet. They're taken care of. At the same time, I'm free to devote myself to the this industry that I am eternally bound to.
If it were me in that once in a life-time scenario... there wouldn't have been a choice to begin with. With nobody close to me, I have all the time and dedication I need to devote myself to the esteem and honor of being the Champion of Champions.
Asking me if it was "worth it" won't bring you any closer to an answer. I threw away a life enslaved to the bonds of cancerous matrimony and tedious retirement, in exchange for an ETERNITY as an undying warrior...
(He looks directly into the camera.)
Does that make me lost?
If that's your word for it, then so be it: I'm lost, and damn proud to be.
Maybe after a decade of being in that ring, one has to lose himself in order to figure out where he really stands.
(He intentionally pauses after this remark, using the time to take another drink.)
I could get into it more, but... like you said, it would take us several hours to get through. Seeing as how you'd rather I not answer the questions you ask me, I guess you just don't the time or the patience to have it all explained to you in plain English - hence, where I figure you have a short attention span.
And to be completely honest, I don't feel like spending this week prattling on in an endless ethical argument. I had my fill of that with Mikey Massacre and his infamous "weirdly-shaped skull"...
He spent all that time trying to explain to me how I was a victim of this industry. In the end, he forgot that regardless of whether I was a victom or not, it didn't change the fact that I'm one of the most dominant professional wrestlers in the ring.
I'm wondering if you're on the verge of making the same fatal error, Impulse...
(Another drink, and the Heineken is finished. He sets the empty bottle next to its predecessor, but waves off the bartender to indicate he's done. Now he turns to the camera and his look cuts right into the soul of whomever watching.)
Now let me ask you something...
So what if I AM lost?
(He pauses a moment to give the questionee time to mull it over.)
Why should any of it matter to you, Impulse? And why does the value of my life mean so much?
(At this remark, he unexpectedly laughs, as if the notion were preposterous.)
For that matter, what's the value of any life?
(He stops laughing.)
But, perhaps most imporant of all... regardless of whether or not you're right about me...
How is it going to help youin the ring?
(His expression has made the remarkable transformation to that of fierce determination.)
Because to be honest, Impulse, I'm a bit more interesting in seeing whether or not you can overcome that uncertainty clouding up your mind. Rather than doting on what I have to gain for this... you should be asking yourself not who will win, but if you yourself can win.
Rather than continuing to waste my time this week trying to rope me into in this endless ethical dick-measuring contest you've created, I'm wanting to know if you have enough to put down a man that consistently refuses to stay down...
A man that sacrificed his humanity to become the cold and emotionless beast that awaits you in the ring...
Your constant questioning of the value of my life is only proving to that you don't understand me, Impulse... and you don't understand the level I fight at.
If you want to have any hope of getting to that level, then you have to show me how far you're willing to go... and if you can't understand my undying dedication to this industry and this tournament based on the sacrifices I've made, then you're proving to me that you aren't willing to go as far as I am to win this match.
If you aren't willing, Impulse, then everything you got won't be enough.
(He checks his watch... nods... and looks to the camera again.)
I'll leave you now on that, Impulse. I have to get back to the gym and get some rest before the long day I face tomorrow.
You can spend it in your favorite watering hole with your friends... maybe go on a quick outing with your girlfriend, if the both of you are up to it.
I'll use that time preparing to destroy you as soon as that bell rings.
I suppose the perks of having those friends is to have someone to fall back on when you've failed.
I exist on this Earth for the single purpose of satisfying myself. Unluckily for you, I won't be satisfied until I've earned my shot at the Champion of Champions. Whether that means steamrolling the competition or squeaking by the skin of my teeth, it means overcoming you, one way or the other.
("THE UNDYING" ROCKO DAYMON pays the tab. Sleep's cover of "Lord Of This World" fades in over the soundtrack again as he comes to his feet, steps away from the bar, and walks through the exit as we go to black.)
"You think you're innocent you've nothing to fear
"You don't know me, you say, but isn't it clear?
"You turn to me in all your worldly greed and pride
"But will you turn to me when it's your turn to die?"
My old Impulse mask, propped up by a wide candlestick. No frills, no extras, just go.)
"Why am I so focused on your personal life, Rocko?"
"The question should be, why are you so focused on defending your personal life, sir. Think about it."
"Better yet, don't think about it. Go to the tape. I'll wait."
Tick tock, tick tock.
"I asked you a simple question, back at the start of it all - was it worth losing everything for you to find this focus that you treasure so much. It was a throwaway question, Rocko... based on what you'd said in your first two Tournament matches, I honestly wanted to know, because I can't imagine it for myself."
And I am a twenty-something, so I do want to know everything.
"Now, take a look at your first promo, Rocko. You did two things: you repeated what I said, and addressed my one little throwaway line. In depth."
Technically, four things, but I don't count listening to the token cool song and exercising. Those are incidental.
"You don't have to be a psychiatrist to see that you were trying to convince me - and perhaps yourself - that it was all worth it. I didn't need - and didn't try - to psychoanalyze your life decisions and chip away at your self - confidence."
All I needed was a body temperature somewhere above ninety six degrees.
"Why did I continue on that route? Because it's the only thing of substance that you've said to date."
The fact that the facts are what they are, is not my fault, Rocko.
"Your personal life has no bearing on the match, but you seemed to want to talk about it, so I'm here for you, buddy. But if you're through with your trip down the path of denial; if you're through living the lie--"
Your ol' buddy says hello, Doc - and he wants you to squash the Malice Man.
"--then we can finally talk about what matters."
I turned the mask sideways to give a profile view.
"Punching holes in your logic was like sand blasting a soup cracker, Rocko, because your logic is inherently flawed. You don't think about what you're saying or doing, therefore you commit yourself to a course of action before you know what you're in for, and by then, it's too late to backtrack."
Case in point: me.
"Rocko Daymon, everything you know is wrong."
"You call my attitude holier than thou. Why? Because I'm calm and rational and know exactly how good I am? Are you any different? You assumed that by going Kung-Fu Kane, even after ten years of wear and abuse, you would be able to recapture the success you had in your youth. Maybe you can, maybe you can't. Maybe you already have, I don't know."
"Frankly, it's immaterial. It doesn't matter that you've held World Titles, or that your last reign ended by forfeit, or that you were apparently once a robot."
Version 1.0... that sounded vaguely familiar.
"What matters is that you're 2-0 in the 2009 tournament, just like me. That puts us on an even keel, on paper, Rocko."
"But this is an elimination tournament, Rocko... you lose, you go home. You don't get the opportunity to take another drink and repackage yourself as a Demon or something and come back for your righteous revenge."
This is reality, Rocko, not the dreamworld where you're the rebel vagabond who nobody knows, not even your wooman. Congratulations, you're a generic 1980s hair metal song.
"Your challenge, though, is inherently flawed. You assume that my friends and loved ones would be in some kind of treacherous peril right at the moment that I'd get some kind of title shot."
"Life is not a series of bizarre absolutes, regardless of what my opponents continue to say."
"Police officers, military personnel... even truck drivers are away from their homes and families for extended periods of time, and they still do what they have to do. Not to compare myself, but why would my situations automatically be any different?"
"Life is about balance, Rocko, not bizarre absolutes. If you were truly one of the greats in this sport, you'd understand that."
"But let's run the list, Rocko. You failed as a family man, to your own admission. Having nothing to lose doesn't fundamentally change who you are, and if you were such a failure before - by your own admission - what's different? Wrestling ability has nothing to do with who's waiting for you in your hotel room."
"On that note... there's no uncertainty in my mind. I am a better wrestler than you, and I'm more focused than you."
Let me explain.
"Better wrestler? C'mon. You can pull the experience factor, but the fact remains, Joe the Plumber has been wearing some form of gold for literally his entire career. Experience means nothing when you have the will to win."
"Focused? Will to win?"
"Have you seen my first two matches in this tournament? I'm not going to praise or disparage the talent or drive of my opponents, but anyone who would disagree with my will to win is being contrarian for the sake of it, and that doesn't win matches, either."
"Now, you might be listening to this and decide to rehash your overconfidence argument, but I wonder, when did overconfidence replace confidence in this sport? All too often, I've seen wrestlers decide that their opponent is filled with overconfidence solely because they aren't kowtowing and bowing down to the greatness that is them."
"You aren't special, Rocko... you're just another wrestler. Can you win? Sure. Can I win? Yes. But when I win, I'm not going to tell you that your overconfidence was your weakness."
Just like I hope you won't tell me that my faith in my friends is mine.
"You're confident. There's nothing wrong with that."
It's not fully autographed - I've got Queen V, both members of Sirsy, MilitiA and Gee, and of course, Miss Lourds Lane.
And, while spinning my iPod shuffler, I've come across Self Taught, by the incomparable SWEAR ON YOUR LIFE.
All of this has a point. Seriously.
In three, two, one...)
"It took me a few days, Rocko, but I get it now. Why are you so defensive about every detail about your life and career? Why do you insist that I'm the one who isn't paying attention?"
"Well, you almost had me stumped, sir. But I get it now."
"Black Sabbath, and Sleep."
"As everyone knows, Black Sabbath is the single most important band in the history of heavy metal. Even if you don't like the music, without Sabbath, there would be no metal. In my opinion, and I am very opinionated, no band on the face of the planet deserves more respect than the original four members of Black Sabbath."
And here... we... go.
"Rocko has at least a comparable opinion, or he wouldn't have chosen to play a Black Sabbath song when working out the exact time he was addressing me, and he wouldn't have chosen that exact moment to mash go on his camera during the Sleep concert."
"But that's where it all became clear, the moment Rocko Daymon said that some band called Sleep deserved as much esteem as the mighty quartet from Birmingham. Was that wishful thinking, Rocko?"
"You see, Rocko Daymon wants to be Black Sabbath. He wants to be held in the highest levels of respect. It doesn't matter that industry critics panned the legendary First Four Black Sabbath albums, and it doesn't even matter that the term heavy metal was used perjoritavely at the beginning. Black Sabbath was doing something nobody else even thought of at the time, and earned their stripes through relentless touring and fan support. It was the fans, not the industry, that picked Sabbath up and said 'This is who we want.'"
"And I'm sorry to say, Rocko, that as much as you want to be Black Sabbath, you're nothing but a cover band."
Wow, that sounded harsh.
"There's nothing inherently wrong with that, Rocko. You're a very fine wrestler, the fact that you've held World Titles here and there is proof of that. You're simply not doing anything original. You're not doing anything that a hundred others haven't already done earlier and better."
"Now, I mention singers and musicians every now and again when I cut these things. Some of them I'm very good friends with, some I only know in passing. Of them, only Valerian's Garden is an international group, but all of them have as much talent and most of them have as much drive as anyone you'll see on Empty V."
"But I'd never refer to any of them in the same breath as Black Sabbath."
I'd also never denigrate them so much as to refer to them in the same breath as a cover band.
"Perhaps that's the main difference between us, Rocko. I've got a D-I-Y mentality and am perfectly happy building something for myself from the ground up, taking my time with it."
"You're a fan of a cover band, Rocko. Playing music that everyone knows and can sing along to, but without a stitch of originality in it."
Sooner rather than later, Rocko, the novelty will wear off. When that happens, you'd better have an original act, or you'll find yourself opening for the rest of your career."
"You know, though - it's possible Sleep isn't a Black Sabbath cover band. I can't disregard the possibility, since I don't know a thing about them."
"But if they aren't, why would that be the song you decided to have them play for us?"
"Sometimes, Rocko... it's not what you say that says the most, but what you do."
"Looks Into the Rays of the New Stoner Sun Rising..."
OOC: Having no PC of my own kinda killed my particpation on the home stretch, so, I'm just going to have fun with this without any consideration toward trying to win.
"OH, FUCK BEANS, DUDE!!"
(We fade in from black... not in St. Louis. Not on Rocko Daymon for that matter. What we see instead is the disbelieving face of "THE DRAGONAUT" ERIK BLACK, one half of tag team legends, THE CHRONIC COLLIZION!!, formerly the Crimson Calling.)
You did not -- DID NOT!! -- just refer to the ALMIGHTY that is SLEEP as a damned COVER BAND, did you?
(The former EPW and A1E tag team champion shakes his head, tsk-tsking.)
You see... THIS is the problem with the world...
So many self-proclaimed metal fans out there think it began and ended with Ozzy Osbourne. Nevermind the fact that Ozzy didn't write a single lyric during his time in Sabbath and was unquestionably the most replaceable member of the band... but these days, it seems that people think all of the world's best metal happens on Ozzfest.
It's hardly the best metal out there; it's just the most marketable.
And that's not to say anything negative about the FORE-FATHERS of stoner rock that is BLACK SABBATH, but seriously...
Impact, or Invoice, or whoever the hell you are... for a guy who goes as far back into another wrestler's career to dig up his old gimmicks... I'd figure you would at the very least type those five letters into a simple Wikipedia to research the UNRIVALED AWESOMENESS that is the stoner rock power trio, Sleep...
(For that matter, when did Rocko Daymon say anything about Black Sabbath or Sleep with his own voice? If I recall correctly, those were notes in the narration. I'm R.R. Strawsma, NOT Rocko Daymon. To my credit, I can still distinguish myself from my characters. I pray there are others in this game like me.)
Hey man, stop interrupting my promo!
(It's not even your thread, dude!)
Anyway, Indigo... prepare to have your mind EXPANDED...
(Erik takes a moment to clear his throat... but after three or four consecutive "AHEMS", doesn't seem satisifed. He picks something up sitting off camera... it's a bong. He lights it, draws the slide, holds in the hit for a moment...)
(...and extended moment...)
(...and releases two massive lungfuls of smoke into the air. Nodding, he waits for the mist clear before speaking to the camera again.)
The beginnings of the PANTHEON OF MUSIC GODS known as SLEEP began on the West Coast in the late 80's, formed then as the four-piece doom metal band Asbestosdeath, by bassist Al Cisneros, drummer Chris Hakius, and guitarists Matt Pike and Tom Choi.
After Choi split to form his own band, he was replaced by Justin Marler, and the band adopted a new, more BADASS, name: SLEEP.
After the first album, Volume 1, Marler quit to... GET THIS... join a life as holistic monk.
The band went power-trio, and it was THEN they made their impact on the world of music...
In the year 1992, Sleep released the greatest and most important album to have EVER been pressed into CD format...
SLEEP'S HOLY MOUNTAIN
(Because he has it handy, he holds up the physical album, in its vinyl sleeve.)
(WHOA, dude... I might have to take those shrooms later on and trip balls while looking at that...)
Beyond a doubt, THE quintessential BIRTH of the popular genre today known at "stoner rock"...
With influences ranging from Black Sabbath to Blue Cheer to St. Vitus... the album was a retro tribute to classic rock intermixed with the modern trend of rock and metal being unforgiveably HEAVY as hell!
The album garned widespread critical acclaim for its time, and the band became one of the biggest underground acts in the early 90s, right around when grunge was riding its gravy train.
It was so successful that, naturally, some crew of hot-shot record executives came around to the bright idea that they could make a lot of money through this GODSEND of a band.
Worked with OZZY, right?
Not long after the release of their hallmark album, the band was picked up by the major record label, London Records. The record company forwarded a whole lot of money and threw the band into the studio under the impression that they would produce an album equal to the sheer awesomeness of Sleep's Holy Mountain...
What they got instead... was something far cooler that anybody could have ever imagined.
The guys took the money, used it to buy a ton of vintage amps, and essentially smoked the rest of it. When they finally came out of the studio, their OPUS -- DOPESMOKER -- had been birthed...
Sixty-three minutes, and only one simply DEVASTATING song!
I could go on for hours over the sheer brilliance of this decision to transcend the norms of the music industry with something so fucking ballsy... but that's for another time.
The record executives, obviously, didn't see it that way. In their mind, an album with only one really huge song on it didn't seem very profitable. So, they shelved the project until the band got its **** together.
What did the minds of Cisneros, Pike, and Hakius decide then?
They broke up.
(Black briefly holds a hand up over his heart as though to keep it from ripping itself out of his ribcage and throwing itself off a high bridge. Then he continues.)
A sad occurence... but nevertheless, a necessary one.
Rather than allow the industry to mold them into something they weren't and would never be, the band called it quits to retain their integrity. They decided that it wasn't worth sacrificing their artistry to join the "rich-and-famous" club of the music world.
I'm sure there are very few bands out there that would make the same choice, but then... that's why most of the bands out there suck four different varieties of balls.
In the wake of Sleep's break-up, the album was released as a bootleg under the title "Jerusalem". In 2003, it was extended to its origial length and format under its original name "Dopesmoker".
(He must have his record collection at his feet, because he holds up yet another vinyl sleeve...)
After Sleep, Al and Chris went on to form OM... a band that consists solely of drums and bass in ten-minute-long trance-like songs. Matt Pike went on to form the highly successful HIGH ON FIRE, currently a widely-known power metal act.
In May earlier this year, the band reunited after fifteen years of being apart to do a once in a lifetime show... in ENGLAND of all places...
...which I MISSED... because my spacevan doesn't quite have amphibious means of transport.
But, that doesn't matter now. You at least have a juvenile understand of the greatest band in the history of music, no ******* questions asked, and that much leaves me satisfied.
Let's go back to this "cover band" issue.
To date, the band has only TWO Black Sabbath cover: the aforementioned "Lord Of This World", which was released on their Volume 2 vinyl-only EP, and "Snowblind", released exclusively on the Man's Ruin Records Black Sabbath tribute CD.
I suppose you could count three if you're a mondo fan like me and include their rendition of N.I.B. on their bootleg live show, live from Berkeley, California in good ol' '92.
(Black sets he record down... and picks up the bong again. Lights it. Draws the slide...)
(...and lets it out.)
Now, this isn't my match... so I don't really have a say in any of this as to who is right or wrong, or who is going to win, or anything like that.
I wish I could sit here and tell you I watched the promos and the both of you have good points and all that crap, but... honestly, somewhere in all that, I got high, and kinda... passed out.
But it really leaves me to wonder, Impaler... if you're that wrong on your understanding of SLEEP... where does that leave the basis of your entire argument?
Think about it. I'll wait.
(I have a digital clock, so there is no ticking.)
(...but five minutes later, we're still waiting. In fact, it could be possible that Erik Black himself forgot he was waiting.)
...hm, oh what?
(You're still cutting a promo.)
(YES! Impulse? Sleep?)
Oh yeah, SLEEP!!
Hey dude... take your own advice and stop breaking the fourth wall already. It's just plain tacky.
Anyway, Impoverished... I'm sure you're a great wrestler and all, so good luck in your match. But in the future, if you set your well of knowledge over a spring that's gone sour, do yourself a favor and don't drink from it.
Or you'll fail the piss-test of life.
That was deep, bro.
(Apparently, Erik's tag partner is holding the camera.)
On that note, let's toke the hell up and give one of these records a spin.
Far out, bro!
(Camera cuts to black. Somewhere in St. Louis, Rocko Daymon checks his bag for the last tape in his possession that would have become his promo... and surprisingly, he can't find it. No matter, he thinks to himself before walking back into the gym to continue his training.)
I'd recreate it here but I'm working on a budget. You'll have to survive.
"For a second there, I was happy as a pig in Secaucus to finally have struck upon something that Rocko Daymon actually cared about, until I saw that he didn't."
"How does this work, anyway? Rocko doesn't even have the courtesy to appear in his own promo? I'd be insulted, if I didn't take it as a sign that I was right."
Cover-band wrestler, influenced-by wrestler... my point still stands. And I'd like to make a point that I was speaking about Black Sabbath, and at no time made mention of any individual members that have ever been a part of the group.
"So, what you're saying is that Sleep was paid a lot of money to put out an album. They spent most of the money on drugs and released a one - track gimmick CD."
"Based on how much Rocko appeared to love Sleep, I have to wonder how much he's covered them, or - I'm sorry - was influenced by them. Here we have a one track gimmick wrestler who can't decide what he wants to be, parted with relevancy ten years ago, and insists that he should still be considered important."
Just like Sleep.
"Your buddies should be careful, Rocko, to make sure they know what they're talking about before going all crazy."
"And I looked Sleep up on Wikipedia, just like you suggested. According to Wikipedia, Sleep disbanded in 1999, only to reunite to play 'two exclusive and never to be repeated reunion sets in England as part of the All Tomorrow's Parties music festival.'"
"So, Rocko - who were you sitting in front of? A Sleep cover band? Isn't that like a group of hangers-on for a group of hangers-on?"
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